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Mon Sep 21, 2015, 04:38 PM

When Schooling Meets Policing

The events have grabbed headlines and public attention, sparking what are now all too familiar debates in the United States about police overreach. In Raleigh, North Carolina, a water-balloon fight at Enloe High School, initiated as a senior-day prank, ended with eight teens arrested and two dozen police officers dispatched to the campus “to restore order.” When a Virginia 4-year-old with ADHD threw a temper tantrum in his prekindergarten classroom late last year—allegedly throwing blocks and hitting and kicking his educators—the school’s principal, according to reports, summoned a deputy assigned to the school, who then handcuffed the child and transported in a squad car to the sheriff’s office.

The details of each of these and other cases vary, but the results have largely been the same. In settings where schooling and policing intersect, the disciplining of students—often for behavior as innocuous as school-age pranks or as commonplace as temper tantrums, and in some cases including children who are so young they still have all their baby teeth—can extend beyond the purview of principals and school staff to law-enforcement who have little to do with education. Data suggests that this is a growing and, for some, disconcerting trend.

*While law enforcement’s presence at schools is hardly a new phenomenon, its value and purpose has lately grown especially contentious. As police officers, those engaged in school-based law-enforcement are, in a way, “beat cops” who are often called on to serve as school disciplinarian. And some experts and juvenile-justice advocates cite systemic educational risks when police patrol school hallways. A report published by the Justice Policy Institute in 2011, “Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools,” concludes that placing SROs and other police in educational institutions exaggerates how school misbehavior, much of it involving minor infractions, is interpreted—to the extent that such activities can be treated as criminal offenses. "

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/09/when-schooling-meets-policing/406348/

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Reply When Schooling Meets Policing (Original post)
damnedifIknow Sep 2015 OP
meow2u3 Sep 2015 #1
Igel Sep 2015 #2

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 04:45 PM

1. Those cops stooped to arresting a 4 YEAR OLD?!

4 year olds have no concept of criminal responsibility, so why are cops treating little children--especially disabled little children--like adult criminals?
I guess the answer is the old adage: "When all you have is a hammer, everything's a nail."

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 08:52 PM

2. WYSIATI.

What don't you know about the situation?

Perhaps the principal was roundly and justly reprimanded. No need for outrage at this point if punishment's been meted out.


Perhaps the principal had been reprimanded for allowing too much disorder in violation of policy. Then this isn't so much "Let's punish the kid" as "Let's how how ridiculous the policy is. A bit rough on the kid, but spun properly the kid might enjoy a ride in a police car. After all, "no sense of criminal responsibility." Depends how humiliatingly he was treated at that point.


Perhaps the kid had been a terror for weeks before and the parents or guardian thought it was cute or "appropriate" or just an overreaction to think their little child should be constrained from hurling solid objects at adults. Or perhaps they just didn't care and this was a way of either getting their attention or getting somebody else's attention.

Or perhaps there's a 4th reason that we don't know. The Atlantic has no responsibility to tell us; in fact, if it's reasonable in context then it sort of mellows their article, and that's a bad thing.

And that last paragraph points out the problem: In a media environment where you can't expect the media to tell you all the relevant facts but expects you to still assume that they have (hence be outraged), you simply can't trust them. They push the "outrage" button and you simply don't know whether you're just being obedient and duped or informed and properly outraged.

In any event, some actual data would be nice. Over 3 million educators, if there are 10 incidents like this per year that's a very, very small incidence. If there are 15000 incidents like this, it's a problem. A further difficulty is that having set up what are likely extreme incidents, The Atlantic wants us to assume they're average. (And if they weren't average, would The Atlantic tell us? Sorry, not in their journalistic interest.)

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